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Michael Dorsey

Michael Dorsey

Senior Global Futures Scientist, College of Global Futures, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory


Global Futures Laboratory
Arizona State University
PO Box 872404
Tempe, AZ 85287-2404


  • Senior Global Futures Scientist, College of Global Futures, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory
  • Professor of Practice, College of Global Futures, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory


M. K. Dorsey holds the Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Service (RMWSSS) Chair (The Walton Chair) with a concurrent appointment as Professor of Practice in the College of Global Futures (CGF).

Dorsey, a graduate of the University of Michigan (BS, 1996; PhD, 2005), Yale (MFS, 1996) and the Johns Hopkins University (MA, 1999), is a globally recognized expert on sustainability, finance, renewable energy and environment matters. In 1997, in Glasgow, Scotland, Rotary International bestowed him their highest honor: The Paul Harris Medal for Distinguished Service to Humanity. Dorsey is a full member of the Club of Rome; the National Journal named him one of 200 US “energy and environment expert insiders”.  

Dorsey is a serial organization builder and leader in for-profit, non-profit, scholarly and governmental realms. In the for-profit arena, Dr. Dorsey is an active investor and co-founder and principal of Around the Corner Capital—an energy advisory and impact finance platform. He sits on the Investment Advisory Committee of the William C Graustein Memorial Fund. Through Around the Corner, Dr. Dorsey has led transactions with many public, private institutions and high net-worth individuals driving the global "Economic, Social & Governance" or "ESG" revolution. Among his many transactions to date, one of his proudest was being a pre-listing investor in the exchange traded fund (ETF) Change Finance (NYSEARCA: CHGX). As an investor and active advisor to Change Finance, in spring 2022, just prior to helming the Sustainability Solutions Service, Dorsey led his family office’s additional investment in the ETF’s $3M bridge round. (On the first day of trading of Q3 2022, CHGX had $109.2M AUM.)

In non-profit realms, in 1997 Dorsey co-created the northern California headquartered Center for Environmental Health. In 2013 Dorsey and two former student collaborators co-created the predecessor to the Sunrise Movement. Dorsey has served as Sunrise’s Treasurer since its inception (he leaves the board in December 2022). In late 2018 the Sunrise Movement co-orchestrated launching the Green New Deal. Beyond this Dorsey sits on several non-profit boards. He served 11 years on the national board of the Sierra Club—one of the largest and oldest US environmental organizations. In academia, for the first decade of the 21st century Dorsey was a professor in the environmental studies program at Dartmouth College. He has also been guest faculty at leading institutions around the world, including: Wesleyan University (USA), the University KwaZuluNatal and the University of Witwatersrand (South Africa); Kungl Tekniska Högskolan (Sweden); and Erasmus University’s Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) Sustainability Climate Change Research Unit (The Netherlands).

Dorsey’s significant government engagement began in 1992 as a member of the U.S. State Department Delegation to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, “The Earth Summit.” From 1994-96 Dorsey was a task force member of President William Jefferson Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development. From April 2007 until November 2008 Dorsey was a member of Senator Barack Obama’s energy and environment Presidential campaign team. In 2010 Lisa Jackson, the US Environmental Protection Agency (US-EPA) Administrator, appointed Dorsey to the EPA’s National Advisory Committee (NAC). Jackson reappointed Dr. Dorsey in 2012 and Administrator McCarthy reappointed him again in 2014. Further, in 2014, after more than two decades of collaboration and engagement with the United Nations NGLS—a specialized unit of UNCTAD (the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) designated Dorsey advisor on “climate, energy sustainability and SIDS (Small Island Developing States)”.

Dorsey has published dozens of scholarly and lay articles on a variety of environment, development and sustainable finance matters. In 2016 he became a contributor to the Wall Street Journal. Over decades Dorsey has been featured or provided his opinions in hundreds of the world’s leading television, radio and print outlets from Al Jazeera, Bloomberg, South Africa’s Business Day, CGTN-America, CNN, Democracy Now!, The Los Angeles Times,Newsweek, The New York Times, the Orlando Sentinel, The Sacramento Bee, The Thom Hartmann Show, Utility Dive and many others.

Beyond boardrooms, Congressional hearings and multilateral summits Dorsey has a long legacy of exploring, researching and working to protect wild places and spaces–around the U.S. and across the planet. He has solo walked across Yosemite and Adirondack National Parks. Dorsey has climbed several peaks from Canada to Patagonia: Agassiz (13,893’), Chimborazo (20,564’), Cotopaxi (19,347’), Illiniza Sur (17,267’) and Norte (16,818’), Mount Bierstadt (14,065) and many others. In 2015 Dorsey began actively skyrunning and has since completed two  Norwegian arctic circle skyraces. As a trained social forester, in 1996, Dorsey began research in the upper Amazon basin, in Ecuador. He has also worked in the subtropical and tropical forests of Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru and Brazil; as well as in temperate forests of the Pacific Northwest and New England. Beyond his publications, Dorsey’s conservation research has long been in cooperation and collaboration with leading scholars, think tanks, advocacy groups, governments, corporations, multilateral agencies as well as fence-line, marginalized and forest communities—and many more.


  • PhD, Natural Resources and Environmental Policy, University of Michingan, 2005
  • MA, Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University, 1999
  • MFS, Forest Science, Yale University, 1996
  • BS, Natural Resources and Environmental Policy, University of Michigan, 1993